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J.D. Vance Says He’ll Be Disappointed if Trump Doesn’t Pick Him for V.P.


Senator J.D. Vance of Ohio has long been considered one of Donald J. Trump’s top running mate choices and worked as hard as anyone to win the job — raising money for the campaign, speaking with a seemingly endless stream of cable news reporters and even sitting in the Manhattan courtroom with the former president to demonstrate his support.

Now, as Mr. Trump’s increasingly theatrical selection process enters its final phase, Mr. Vance acknowledged Wednesday that he would feel a tinge of dejection if he were not the pick.

“I’m human, right?” Mr. Vance said when asked about that scenario in an interview on Fox News. “So when you know this thing is a possibility, if it doesn’t happen, there is certainly going to be a little bit of disappointment.”

Asked earlier in the interview if he was on a short-list of candidates, Mr. Vance said he was probably one of several contenders and conveyed nonchalance at the ultimate outcome. “They’ll ask me if they ask me, and if they don’t that’s fine,” he said.

Mr. Trump has said he would announce his pick closer to the Republican National Convention next month, but his campaign has fed speculation that an announcement could happen as soon as this week.

Mr. Vance and other top contenders for the job, including Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, have been invited to join Mr. Trump in Atlanta on Thursday for the former president’s first debate this year with President Biden, campaign aides said. Mr. Vance’s interview is the first of a series announced by Fox News on Tuesday that will feature a handful of the leading prospects. Mr. Burgum and Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina will also appear in the coming days to essentially pitch themselves to viewers on their qualifications to be vice president, alongside their significant others.

Mr. Vance and his wife, Usha, sat for an interview at their home in Ohio. When asked about what issue she may focus on if she became “second lady,” Ms. Vance laughed off the question, saying it was “getting a little ahead of ourselves there.”

She described the experience of her husband’s first campaign less than two years ago as a shock.

“It was so different than anything we had ever done before,” Ms. Vance said. “But it was an adventure, and so I guess the way that I’d put it is I’m not raring to change anything about our lives right now. But I believe in J.D. and I love him. So we’ll just sort of see what happens with our lives. We’re open.”

Asked about the possibility of debating Vice President Kamala Harris, a former prosecutor, Mr. Vance joked that he would be well prepared after being married to Ms. Vance, a former clerk for Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

“I have to debate this litigator all the time, so I think I’d do OK there,” he said.

Mr. Vance said he would push for more manufacturing jobs, more school choice and immigration policy that focused on deportations and building a wall along the southern border.

He said Democrats often attacked Republicans as insensitive to Black voters and the poor, but that “they really can’t pull that with me, right, because I grew up in a poor family, and I was raised in a working-class community.”

“I do think there is something just about my biography that makes it a little bit harder for these guys to attack me,” he said.

Michael M. Grynbaum contributed reporting.


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